4 Stars Bridget Joyce, "Purple", (Purple Records)
San Diego local Bridget Joyce --- a shimmering presence in her own right --- is drawing attentive fans with her catchy song-writing, bright-eyed pop rockin' live shows, groovy purple wardrobe, and now with an accompanying seven-song CD entitled, appropriately, "Purple." Not since Prince has anyone looked this good in purple --- but good looks are beside the point as Joyce's happy-go-lucky melodies are enough to keep you listening.
Bridget's songwriting is a breath of fresh air in the mundane, hard-edged San Diego music scene. Lyrically, she reinforces the reality that love and heartache usually make the best pop topics. Simple but true-to-the heart phrasing is something audiences can relate to and Joyce is happy to provide it. She tends to expose herself to the world, not hiding a thing, but leaving us wondering who the guy is. Although the melody is sweet, sadness prevails throughout "Living in Hell" --- "When your gone then my fear won't change my mind, I'm, trying so hard. I don't care I'm living in Hell." "Missing You" is as basic as it gets, but it's melancholic effects evoke a deeper consciousness --- "Trying hard to control my thoughts, I miss you too much. Try and make some sense of it. Wish I could get things in perspective...." The jingly, folky pop sound and vocals on "Love in Chains" are reminiscent of a Natalie Merchant tune, with a bit of Tracy Chapman thrown in. "Purple" is the ultimate soul mate song leaving you wondering who Joyce wrote that one for?
Jewel may have planted the seed, but with "Purple", this San Diego female acoustic popster has taken root --- hopefully more buds will blossom in the future.